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Re: London @ home
Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:27 pm
Posted by Mild Rover on Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:27 pm
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Zook Ema's Hose wrote:
No sensible points to make as to why 2019 and beyond will buck the all too familiar pattern of the last half dozen. The pont about Sheens age was that we need something radically different to push forward so if you can point as to what this will be compared to the last 2 years go ahead. What we need is better value from our playing budget and for Peacock to earn his corn in attracting top line players to the club. Unless this happens we'll be here again in 2019 celebrating Derby wins as the highlight in a bottom 4 finish. And comforting ourselves that it will be better next year because of less injuries. :roll:


At the risk of this coming back to bite, and acknowledging that the first objective remains navigating the qualifiers, I’ll have a go.

1. Ruthlessness and mental strength
We have some now. We’re willing to do what it takes, whether that be holding down in the tackle to concede a tactical penalty, hitting as hard as is legally possible or recruiting experienced players mid-season. The principles of the 5-year plan, such as gradualism and heavy focus on youth, were fine as a media-friendly narrative, but not as a real basis for improvement in our situation. One of the few consolations of 2016 was how starkly that was exposed, and that there was no choice other than to learn those lessons. Also, while we still sometimes concede two or even three quick fire tries, it isn’t every time we concede one, and now it isn’t necessarily game over either - we have the resilience to hit back.

2. The pack looks better balanced
Masoe is a big prop, Mulhern is developing well, Tomkins is a decent size for a backrower. It might not be a dominant group at SL level, but I hope and even expect the days of us being dominated 3 games out of 4 are behind us.

3. Injuries - it has been a really bad year
There’ll be other bad years, but realistically this one should be an outlier. That’s not to be complacent - too many of our pivotal players miss too many games. If you offered me a combined 40 games from Lunt and McGuire next year, i’d snap your hand off. And, sadly, it looks like Quinlan is out until 2020. We cannot afford go skinny in the spine. But elsewhere there’s a good chance of better - lightning can strike twice, but it’s unlikely.

4. If we stay up, we can move forward
Hopefully it’ll be enough to shake off the image of team struggling to overcome the legacy of a accident-prone recent history. There’ll be a sense that we’re on the up again, I think. His initial reclamation project complete, Sheens can genuinely think about having a crack at the play-offs. We’ll be more attractive to potential recruits, and fear won’t be the overriding emotion amongst fans.

The last is obviously the key thing from our perspective. It might not work out, but wouldn’t it be nice to hope again?
'Thus I am tormented by my curiosity and humbled by my ignorance.' from History of an Old Bramin, The New York Mirror (A Weekly Journal Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts), February 16th 1833.
Re: London @ home
Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:13 pm
Posted by Keiththered on Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:13 pm
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Zook Ema's Hose wrote:
No sensible points to make as to why 2019 and beyond will buck the all too familiar pattern of the last half dozen. The pont about Sheens age was that we need something radically different to push forward so if you can point as to what this will be compared to the last 2 years go ahead. What we need is better value from our playing budget and for Peacock to earn his corn in attracting top line players to the club. Unless this happens we'll be here again in 2019 celebrating Derby wins as the highlight in a bottom 4 finish. And comforting ourselves that it will be better next year because of less injuries. :roll:


My point was about how well we finished which is a clear positive IMO. What did you expect in the first season after promotion. After relegation TS achieved the clubs aim of promotion. 10th in our first season is progress. Hopefully we can retain our spot in SL. Four wins out of five is a good start. See how this season pans out and how TS can make progress next season. His regime has done everything asked of him so far so I have some optimism for the future. Extrapolating from previous situations with different coaching regimesis is futile. TS has succeeded in his previous coaching positions and there is no reason why he should not succeed with us. I’m sure he knows what he is doing and he deserves all our support.

You have no idea what input JP has in the club. It is easy to say attracting top players to our club. That is easier said than done. Teams in lower positions generally have to offer more money than top teams which is a problem in a salary cap sport. Our best chance of success is to develop gradually season on season not try to buy success. Sport is full of clubs who have failed with that approach.

We have had two seasons of gradual progress let’s hope 2019 is the third.
Re: London @ home
Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:15 pm
Posted by Mild Rover on Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:15 pm
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Keiththered wrote:
My point was about how well we finished which is a clear positive IMO. What did you expect in the first season after promotion. After relegation TS achieved the clubs aim of promotion. 10th in our first season is progress. Hopefully we can retain our spot in SL. Four wins out of five is a good start. See how this season pans out and how TS can make progress next season. His regime has done everything asked of him so far so I have some optimism for the future. Extrapolating from previous situations with different coaching regimesis is futile. TS has succeeded in his previous coaching positions and there is no reason why he should not succeed with us. I’m sure he knows what he is doing and he deserves all our support.

You have no idea what input JP has in the club. It is easy to say attracting top players to our club. That is easier said than done. Teams in lower positions generally have to offer more money than top teams which is a problem in a salary cap sport. Our best chance of success is to develop gradually season on season not try to buy success. Sport is full of clubs who have failed with that approach.

We have had two seasons of gradual progress let’s hope 2019 is the third.


I’d accept the need to build sustainably. Bradford, Leigh and Salford are some cautionary tales from recent years. But I think we’re the example of building slowly leading to drift and taking one step backwards without realising how close you are to the brink. As with all things, it’s a balance.

When I think of clubs outside the very top group of SL teams (ie. Leeds, Saints and Wigan) who have ‘levelled up’, for a while at least, it can often be traced back a bold decision or strategy. Our ambitious recruitment for 2008, Wire fans regularly being quizzed about how their club could be within the cap, Cas appointing Powell, Radford going for POWER at Hull, Wakefield’s positive response to surviving the first MPG.

If this is the year we definitively turn the corner, I hope we try to accelerate out of it.
'Thus I am tormented by my curiosity and humbled by my ignorance.' from History of an Old Bramin, The New York Mirror (A Weekly Journal Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts), February 16th 1833.
Re: London @ home
Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:46 pm
Posted by Zook Ema's Hose on Sun Sep 16, 2018 4:46 pm
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In reply to Mild Rover
Mental strength is up there with "team spirit" and "playing for the fans" as a myth trotted out when a few tight games are won. I saw little of this when we leaked 24 points against part-time Halifax or allowed London back within 2 yesterday and both of these lower league opponents. I would agree having Mags has helped simply as his experience in tight games brings a different level of organisation. I don't buy that we're at a different level of resilience now to challenge the top teams consistently which after all is what we've been supposedly "working towards" since promotion from the Northern Ford.

Regards the pack I agree that Mulhern has been unplayable at times and this is what JP is paid to deliver. I am a fan of Masoe also. What I don't see is the match day 9 forwards group being good enough to challenge. Let's say we want to pick off Wakefield next year as a target. Their forwards include Fifita, Pauli Pauli, Huby, England, Horo and Arona - average quality man for man better than ours. We can recruit the likes of Kavanagh or Scruton to "do a job" if that job is bottom 4 and beating those in the lower league. But they aren't able week in and out of getting over packs like Catalans or Wakefield and have already been dominated by one from Salford whose very existence is threatened.

Injuries are an evergreen issue for us. This year has been unusually bad yes. But Lunt and Mcguire are our key players and both spend too long on the sidelines. We have hedged bets this year bringing in a large squad of average players which fortunately has been enough to retain SL status. You call it a reclamation project but all we've really done is avoid another MPG. Again we've come up short of pre season targets. Again Mike Smith or NH will say that next year there will be a change of direction and explain it will all be different either because of youth focus, fewer better players, more experienced players a different culture that respects the fans or whatever. 7000 fans are happy with this cycle of talk, disappointment and mediocrity it seems so...

Finally safer SL status might benefit us to attract top players. But it also helps Salford, Wakefield, Catalans, Hull, Huddersfield..all except Hull in more attractive locations..

Of course we can hope. But every season we hold an autopsy of where it went wrong and like every club imagine the findings are being addressed and convince ourselves that hope of challenging is realistic. A quick look at our SL history shows nothing to back this hope up and even less since Morgan left.
Re: London @ home
Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:35 pm
Posted by Mild Rover on Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:35 pm
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Plenty I agree with in that.

However, I genuinely feel we don’t fall in a heap as easily or as often as we used to. That, together with improvements in the pack, mean we don’t always have to play well for 80 minutes to win, which was always a huge ask and seemed to leave us mentally exhausted for a couple of weeks when we did occasionally manage it. People like Phil Clarke bang on about consistency being the difference between the top teams and the rest. Imo, it’s more about having an extra gear and being able to win a game in 20 minutes. I’m not saying we have that, but we can now win a game with 50 or 60 good minutes. Which is a big positive, imo.

I guess ‘challenging’ most obviously means being in contention for trophies. And i’d love that, obviously. However, just being able to challenge any opponent in any round of the competition would be nice enough for now, rather than looking at the fixture list for the next winnable game and it being 5 weeks away or something. Maybe that’s settling for mediocrity, but for me that would bring the fun back at least.
'Thus I am tormented by my curiosity and humbled by my ignorance.' from History of an Old Bramin, The New York Mirror (A Weekly Journal Devoted to Literature and the Fine Arts), February 16th 1833.
Re: London @ home
Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:46 pm
Posted by His Bobness on Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:46 pm
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2016 relegation.

2017 league leaders and then promotion.

2018 10th in Super League , 11 points better than bottom and on the brink of negotiating the qualifiers.

Modest yearly improvements but improvements nevertheless and we have signed most of our best players on long term deals. I'm confident we can achieve a similar modest improvement in 2019 it's silly to demand more.
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Re: London @ home
Post Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:33 pm
Posted by fun time frankie on Sun Sep 16, 2018 6:33 pm
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I don’t know what you expect zook this season was all about survival regardless of what the club says your points will be valid if next season is the same but we have improved teams of the recent past wouldn’t have comeback against Cas and Leeds away and attracting players for the promoted side is always going to be a problem so if we survive and I’m sure we will going with 34 similar players barring a couple of exceptions seems to be the right move you only have to look at what happened to Leigh to see what’s been achieved
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